THE JOKER IS WILD Secondary Title

In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.

But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.

Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.

Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.

The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.

Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.

The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.


Penguin CAN/99

The Life of Jim Carrey

In 1976, at a Toronto comedy club, a nerdy 14-year-old from the outskirts of the city turned up to make his debut on amateur night, encouraged by a doting father, himself a frustrated performer. Doing a bad Jimmy Stewart impression, he drew hoots of derision from the unmerciful crowd. Young Jim Carrey was so devastated that it took several years before he was ready to try again.

This is the astonishing story of how a charming misfit from a troubled family overcame a desperately insecure childhook – and went on to become Hollywood’s biggest star of the 1990’s.

Martin Knelman tells how Carrey became a hot young comic in L.A. only to have his life and career reach an apparent dead end at age 25; how the TV series In Living Color gave him a second chance; and how an unlikely movie vehicle about a pet detective became Carrey’s ticket to superstardom.

Carrey has gone from one phenomenal hit to another – The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Liar Liar, and The Truman show – yet the emotional stability that Carrey so painfully lacked in his childhood may continue to elude him.